The pandemic may have brought international travel to a halt, but we live in the UK, which means there’s plenty of diverse destinations right on your doorstep. There’s the scenic coastlines of Northern Ireland and culture capitals like London. And then there’s quaint chocolate box villages and the countryside vistas of places like the Lake District. All in all, there are worse places to be ‘stuck’ than the UK, and now’s as good a time as ever to start planning your next staycation.

With so many places worth visiting, how can you narrow down your options? Here’s a list of our favourite staycations in the UK

Cornwall

Everybody agrees that Cornwall is one of Great Britain’s most beautiful counties. It’s got countryside, traditional villages, seaside towns and some of the nation’s best beaches. It’s also got attractions like the castle-topped island of Saint Michael’s Mount and the Eden Project, two biodomes that replicate diverse environments to house thousands of plant species from across the globe. All the towns are so charming that suggesting where to stay is challenging to say the least, but Newquay, Penzance, St Ives and Falmouth are all popular.

London

How could we talk about the best UK staycations without mentioning London? It’s huge – there’s no shortage of attractions and activities to keep you occupied, and new safety measures and restrictions help keep visitors safe. Take a spin on the London Eye, or visit landmarks like Buckingham Palace. Or, stick to the outdoors and spend your time admiring the likes of Hyde Park and the Royal Botanical Gardens. A staycation in London can be as energetic or as laid back as you like.

Edinburgh

If mystery, magic and charm are what you want from a staycation, Edinburgh’s a destination that certainly won’t let you down. With a skyline dominated by a fairy-tale like castle, architectural icons lining cobbled streets, and entertainment and shopping aplenty, Edinburgh is an undeniably beautiful capital. Social distancing and safety measures are implemented in all indoor venues. If you want to avoid crowds, head to outdoor attractions like Portobello Beach and Holyrood Park.

The Lake District

Looking for a staycation of peace and quiet? Why not add beauty and adventure into the mix by heading to the Lake District National Park? England’s most mountainous region is a hiker’s paradise. And with its museums, diverse natural habitats and water activities, it’s the perfect destination for history buffs, wildlife watchers and avid seafarers too. For many visitors, the Beatrix Potter attractions take centre stage. Pay the place a visit, and you’ll understand why it inspired so many of her novels.

Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s Causeway is a natural rock formation rather than a town, but the surrounding villages make for perfect staycations, and this is no ordinary natural phenomenon. It’s an area of around 40,000 basalt columns that seemingly rise from the ground. There’s nothing that looks quite like it in the world, which is partly why it’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

Giant’s Causeway is located at the northern tip of County Antrim, so you get a sprawling view of the ocean to top it all off. Portrush and Bushmills are both beautiful nearby towns with plenty of accommodation.